Silky Eggplant Puree
Sultan’s Delight (2 votes)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Prepare grill for cooking.
1 large eggplant (1 1/2 lb)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons finely grated kasseri, pecorino fresco, or semihard sheep’s-milk cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add lemon juice.
Prick eggplant in several places with a skewer or toothpick (to prevent bursting). Grill eggplant, turning occasionally, until charred all over and tender inside, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly (eggplant will collapse), then peel with a sharp small knife while still warm, leaving stem intact. (This makes the eggplant easier to handle—it may fall apart otherwise.)
Soak eggplant in lemon water 15 minutes, then transfer to a colander. Discard stem and drain eggplant flesh 45 minutes.
Melt butter in a 9- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until roux just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, about 3 minutes.
Add drained eggplant and stir, mashing with a fork, until incorporated. Stir in cheese and salt and season with pepper.
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